Clarissa Vin Rouge 2018
Clarissa Vin Rouge is a Meritage, a soft, complex American Bordeaux-style wine for medium-soft, complex foods.
Clarissa is an elegant, refined wine, that is in perfect balance with a purity of fruit, uniquely designed by Bill to complement medium-soft foods that include some of the flavors like garlic, brine, tomato, anchovy, cloves, etc.
More about Clarissa . . .
The 2018 Clarissa has a very broad, expansive bouquet, full of complexity with layers of blackberry, cedar and a touch of mint. This has nice vivacity, featuring plum and cassis notes laced with bay, pepper and slight tobacco accents. The wine will attain even more nuance with a little aeration in the glass.
The palate is medium-bodied with plenty of fruit concentration: layers of ripe blackberry and boysenberry, segueing into what feels like a very complex and rich coating of the entire mouth that seems to last forever on the palate.
It is a wonderful follow-up to the 2017 last year, with similar audacity and bravado remaining fresh and racy through the finish.
Finally we made 1,200 cases so everyone can enjoy this wonderful wine.
The challenge for Clarissa is to make a bold Cabernet-centric wine that will manage mid-range spice flavors like cloves, garlic, anchovies, as well as brined foods and yet still complement and amalgamate the entire dish.
Naturally the blend is complex and comprises, in order of quantity, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec with 30% from our Atlas Peak Napa vineyards and 70% from our Sonoma Mountain, Chalk Hill and Dry Creek Valley vineyards.
ClimateThe 2018 season was seamless with heavenly hangtime and phenomenal phenolic development. February saw abundant rains, followed by lots of filtered light in spring and early summer. Both bud break and flowering occurred a bit late, but under ideal weather conditions, creating plentiful and even fruit set.
Summer brought generous sun during the day and cooler marine influences, virtually uninterrupted by major heat spikes. The relatively mild summer followed by extended fall sunshine and moderate heat created near-ideal conditions as the fruit developed flavor complexity, approaching maturity with gradual increases in sugar levels, reaching optimal balance of brix and pH levels at harvest.
French Oak for 22 months, approximately 40% new, 40% one use and the balance neutral.